Report of the committee

Thursday, November 29, 2018

The Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament has the honour to present its

TENTH REPORT

Your committee, which was authorized by the Senate on March 27, 2018, to propose amendments to the Rules of the Senate relating to the establishment of a Standing Committee on Audit and Oversight, now recommends:

That the Rules of the Senate be amended as follows:

1. by:

(a) deleting the word “and” at the end of rule 12-3(2)(e) in the English version; and

(b) replacing the period at the end of rule 12-3(2)(f) by the following:

; and

(g) the Standing Committee on Audit and Oversight, five Senators.”;

2. by adding the following new rule 12-3(4):

Restriction on membership

12-3. (4) No Senator shall be a member of both the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration and the Standing Committee on Audit and Oversight.”;

3. by replacing the introductory words in rule 12-5 by the following:

“12-5. Changes in the membership of a committee, except for the ex officio members, the members of the Standing Committee on Ethics and Conflict of Interest for Senators, and the Standing Committee on Audit and Oversight, may be made by notice filed with the Clerk, who shall have the notice recorded in the Journals of the Senate. The notice shall be signed by:”;

4. by replacing rule 12-6 by the following:

Quorum of standing committees

12-6. (1) Except as provided in subsection (2) and elsewhere in these Rules, the quorum of a standing committee shall be four of its members.

EXCEPTION

Rule 12-27(2): Quorum of committee

12-6. (2) The quorum of the Standing Committee on Audit and Oversight is three of its members.”;

5. by:

(a) deleting the word “and” at the end of rule 12-7(15) in the English version; and

(b) replacing the period at the end of rule 12-7(16) by the following:

; and

Audit and Oversight

12-7. (17) the Standing Committee on Audit and Oversight, which shall be authorized, on its own initiative, to:

(a) retain the services of and direct the Senate’s internal and external auditors;

(b) oversee and direct the Senate’s internal audit function;

(c) make recommendations to the Senate concerning the internal audit plan;

(d) report to the Senate regarding the internal audit function, including audit reports and other matters;

(e) review the Senate Administration’s action plans to ensure:

(i) that they adequately address the recommendations and findings arising from internal audits, and

(ii) that they are effectively implemented;

(f) review the Senate’s Quarterly Financial Reports and the audited Financial Statements, and report them to the Senate; and

(g) report at least annually with observations and recommendations to the Senate.”;

6. by adding the following new rule 12-9(3):

Audit and Oversight — access to information

12-9. (3) The Standing Committee on Audit and Oversight may review the in camera proceedings of other Senate committees, including any transcripts of meetings, as they relate to expenditures of Senate funds.”;

7. by replacing the introductory words in rule 12-16(1) by the following:

“12-16. (1) Except as provided in subsections (2) and (3) and elsewhere in these Rules, a committee may meet in camera only for the purpose of discussing:”;

8. by renumbering current rule 12-16(2) as 12-16(3), and by adding the following new rule 12-16(2):

Audit and Oversight – in camera

12-16. (2) The Standing Committee on Audit and Oversight shall meet in camera whenever it deals with the in camera proceedings of another committee.”;

9. by replacing the introductory words in rule 12-18(2) by the following:

“12-18. (2) Except as provided in subsection (3) and elsewhere in these Rules, a Senate committee may meet when the Senate is adjourned:”;

10. by adding the following new rule 12-18(3):

Audit and Oversight — meetings during adjournment of the Senate

12-18. (3) The Standing Committee on Audit and Oversight may sit during any adjournment of the Senate.”;

11. by replacing, in rule 12-22(2), the words “Except as otherwise provided” by the words “Except as provided in subsection (7) and elsewhere in these Rules”;

12. by adding the following new rule 12-22 (7):

Audit and Oversight — report deposited with the Clerk

12-22. (7) A report of the Standing Committee on Audit and Oversight may be deposited with the Clerk at any time the Senate stands adjourned, and the report shall be deemed to have been presented or tabled in the Senate.”; and

13. by updating all cross references in the Rules, including the lists of exceptions, accordingly.

As noted in the fifth report of CIBA’s Subcommittee on the Senate Estimates, which was appended to CIBA’s 21st report, the establishment of the Standing Committee on Audit and Oversight will require amendments to the Senate Administrative Rules and there should be consultations among leadership about possible changes to the Parliament of Canada Act. Your committee notes that points such as the divisions of roles and responsibilities between CIBA and the new committee, the funding for the new committee to retain the auditors, and intersessional authority will require particular attention.

Your committee also notes that during its consideration of the changes to the Rules necessary to establish the Audit and Oversight Committee there was extensive debate about whether the new committee should include non-senators as members, and whether your committee had the mandate to make recommendations on composition of membership. A consensus on these issues did not emerge. Your committee now therefore recommends:

That the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration again review whether the Audit and Oversight Committee should include non-senators as members.

Respectfully submitted,

LEO HOUSAKOS

Chair